Queen to give up right to manage Palace`s financial affairs

Queen Elizabeth II has been forced to give up the power to manage her financial affairs in a secret deal in 2006, a media report said.

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2010, 20:20 PM IST

London: Queen Elizabeth II has been forced
to give up the power to manage her financial affairs in a
secret deal in 2006, giving the British government control
over the monarch`s public wealth, a media report said on Thursday.

The `financial memorandum` formalising the
relationship between the Queen and the ministers also sets out
tough terms on how the Queen can spend the 38.2 million pounds
handed over by Parliament each year to pay for her staff and
occupied palaces.

The secret deal was signed by Palace aides and the
government, `The Independent` reported today.

The document, disclosed under the Freedom of
Information Act, grants ministers the constitutional right to
take over the direct management of the Queen`s public wealth
in the event of a disagreement over how the subsidy is awarded
or spent.

According to constitutional experts, the memorandum
could be used by ministers to force the Queen to cut back on
her spending or even make her fall back on her considerable
private wealth.

The deal follows disputes between the Palace and the
Government over the growing costs and management of public
money given to the Royal family.

Paul Flynn MP, a member of the House of Commons
Public Administration Committee, said: "Someone appears to
have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the Royal family
from public scrutiny. The more information we have about the
public subsidy paid to the Queen the more confidence will we
have in the institution.

"The Royal family is part of the dependency culture
of Britain in the same way that Cameron spoke about people
living in a council house accommodation for life."

The memorandum lists 70 clauses dictating the financial
relationship between the Queen and the Government.

A key clause declares: "in the event of any
irreconcilable differences over the interpretation of this
financial memorandum or the memorandum of understanding, the
Secretary of State shall be entitled to cease payment of
grant-in-aid and take over directly the execution of her
responsibility for the provision of property services for the
occupied Royal palaces, funding for Royal communications, and
provision of property and guard services for Marlborough
House.

PTI